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Congressman Garret Graves

Representing the 6th District of Louisiana

Graves Announces $6.7 Million for Comite, Additional Money for Critical Projects

May 26, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC - Congressman Garret Graves (R - South Louisiana) announced today highlights of the Fiscal Year 2017 “Work Plan” of Corps of Engineers projects in South Louisiana, including $6.7 million for the Comite River Diversion Canal. Using funds made available by the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations of 2017, the Corps allocated resources to these notable projects:

  • $6.7 million for the Comite River Diversion Canal
  • $500,000 for continued wastewater and environmental improvements in Baton Rouge
  • $500,000 for wastewater improvements in Ascension Parish
  • $450,000 to complete the justification analysis to deepen the Mississippi River to 50 feet, thereby allowing for larger commercial vessels
  • $9 million for continued project construction in the Louisiana Coastal Area (restoration of Coastal Louisiana)

“Prior to my first day in Congress, Comite has been a top priority. Since first serving in the House in 2015, Congress has allocated a total of $20.7 million toward the canal. This amount is grossly insufficient to finish the project, but the $20.7 million since 2015 represents the vast majority of funding for the project in the last 10 years, when funding for the project had essentially dried up,” said Graves. “Seeing Comite through to completion is critical to a true, long-term recovery in South Louisiana. Until we address the flood protection problem, lives and property remain at risk.”

Graves continued, “With this latest funding stream, the state of Louisiana now has under its control the means by which we can complete the project. Any combination of $20 million in federal appropriations, $87 million capital outlay, $1.7 billion in CDBG-DR, $252 million in hazard mitigation funds, and $14 million in Amite River Basin Commission funds can very easily comprise a financing strategy that could lead to the project’s completion within three-to-four years. The state has the ability to access nearly $2 billion of federal money – it’s time to come together now and finish the job taxpayers have been paying for.

It is encouraging that the Corps is finalizing their analysis of deepening the Mississippi River to 50 feet. America's bread basket feeds the world through our ports. The nation is powered by energy that is shipped on our river. Almost every product made in the US is improved by the chemical manufacturing in Louisiana. A deeper river means more product goes to market. More jobs are created. Louisiana's economy improves. America's economy improves. It's that simple. And the rationale to deepen the channel is also just that simple.”

He concluded, “I am disappointed there is no funding for the very important West Shore project that would protect our River Parishes. Flood control in Louisiana is incomplete without this very necessary protection.”

The USACE FY17 Work Plan and the FY18 Civil Works Budget can be found here: https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Budget/